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Why is excommunication a bad thing?

Why is excommunication a bad thing?

Being a penalty, it presupposes guilt; and being the most serious penalty that the Catholic Church can inflict, it naturally supposes a very grave offense. The excommunicated person is basically considered as an exile from the Church and as non-existent, for a time at least, in the sight of ecclesiastical authority.

What was the significance of the excommunication?

The purpose of excommunication is to exclude from the church those members who have behaviors or teachings contrary to the beliefs of a Christian community (heresy). It aims to protect members of the church from abuses and allow the offender to recognize his error and repent.

What was excommunication and why was it a powerful punishment during the Middle Ages?

In the Middle Ages, excommunication, the cutting off of an offender from the religious community, was a severe and fearsome punishment. In the Catholic church an offender was cast out in a ceremony involving twelve priests and a bishop, each holding a lighted candle.

Who was the last person to be excommunicated?

She said Hickey did not consult with Pope John Paul II. The last person to incur public excommunication was Swiss Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, according to Msgr. John Tracy Ellis, a historian. Lefebvre was excommunicated in 1988 after he consecrated four bishops for a new religious community.

Can excommunication be reversed?

Excommunication can be a public process, like the Pope did with the Mafia, or it can be private. And, if your excommunication ends, it can be a public or a private process. If a person changes or reforms his or her life, he or she can be taken back into the church, absolutely.

Is excommunication still practiced?

In Roman Catholic canon law, excommunication is a censure and thus a “medicinal penalty” intended to invite the person to change behavior or attitude that incurred the penalty, repent, and return to full communion. They are still Catholics per se, but are separated from the Church.

How did the church use the powers of excommunication?

How did the Church use the powers of excommunication and interdiction in maintaining its power? Excommunication and interdiction helped to control immoral, rebellious, and independent people or rulers. If they were not allowed to observe the sacraments, they wouldn’t be able to go to heaven.

Does excommunication still happen?

Excommunication is the most severe form of ecclesiastical penalty and is used only as an absolute last resort. Excommunicants remain Catholic because of baptism and still obligated to attend Mass, but they are deprived of all sacraments (except for the Sacrament of Penance). They are also deprived of a Catholic burial.

Why was excommunication important in the Middle Ages?

Excommunication meant banishment from the church. An individual who was excommunicated was seen as a reject and was effectively barred from achieving salvation. The pope commonly wielded the threat of excommunication over various political leaders across Europe, and used this threat to maintain political control.

Can you go to heaven if you are excommunicated?

The Pope doesn’t excommunicate, but people excommunicate themselves by their behavior. Excommunication also does not mean a person is denied from heaven and the afterlife (that’s “anathema”)—one’s baptism is still effectual, meaning it still carries its sacramental worth. That’s why excommunication means something.

Is Marcel Lefebvre still excommunicated?

A priest for 61 years, Lefebvre died an outlaw in the eyes of the Vatican, excommunicated for defiantly consecrating four bishops in a Swiss meadow on a sultry summer morning in 1988 against the orders of Pope John Paul II. “When the Pope is in error, he ceases to be Pope,” Lefebvre once said.

Can you go to heaven if you commit a mortal sin?

The Catholic Church holds that people who commit mortal sins can go to Heaven via perfect contrition. This involves confessing all of one’s mortal sins, acting from the love of God, and so on. Given the possibility of mortal sinners being saved, it is unclear why all sinners don’t all go to Purgatory.

Why are some people excommunicated from the church?

There’s been a lot of super weird reasons that people have found themselves excommunicated from the church, and some of them are pretty epic. This isn’t your standard “taking the Lord’s name in vain,” sort of offense, this is the stuff of action movies and suspense thrillers.

Who are some famous people who were excommunicated by the Catholic Church?

Many of the famous excommunications of history, of course, are those associated with the various Protestant leaders, such as Martin Luther in 1521, Henry VIII in 1533, and Elizabeth I in 1570. Perhaps the most gripping story of excommunication is that of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, who was excommunicated three times by Pope Gregory VII.

Why does the Catholic Church not excommunicate atheists?

The Roman Catholic church apparently does not excommunicate its members easily. They say that the reason for this is to leave the way open for reconciliation. However, their thinking is based on irrational belief and is motivated by fear, and they assume that you are the same.

Can a Catholic be excommunicated and still be a Catholic?

Many people think that, when a person is excommunicated, he or she is “no longer a Catholic.” But just as the Church can excommunicate someone only if he is a baptized Catholic, the excommunicated person remains a Catholic after his excommunication—unless, of course, he specifically apostatizes (that is, completely renounces the Catholic Faith).